The 21 April is the Birthday of Rome, Maggior di Roma is an expression in Italian meaning Rome is greatest. Rome celebrates its 2,772nd birthday on 21 April which this year coincides with Easter Sunday festivities. Known as Natale di Roma, the annual birthday celebration is based on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.
Rome is known as the Eternal City even among the ancient Romans themselves. It was so called because the Romans thought that no matter what happened to the world, no matter how many other empires might rise and fall, Rome would go on forever. Romans still think this way today. Tu non vedrai nessuna cosa al mondo maggior di Roma.
Puccini composed this Hymn to Rome in 1919 to celebrate the victories of Italy in the First World War and its liberation from Austrian dominance. It became in a way its Birthday song. Puccini got his inspiration from an ancient poem, “Carmen Saeculare” (literally, “Secular Hymn”, usually translated as “Song of the Ages”), is a hymn or ode by the Roman lyric poet Horace, commissioned by Emperor Augustus in 17 BC. It is collection of mythological and religious verses encouraging the restoration of the tradition and the glorification of the gods, particularly Apollo, Diana, Jupiter and Venus.